You know the story.
Room full of teachers. Data abound.
One teacher seems to take charge. The enthusiasm is nauseating.
A few teachers are sneaking glances at their phone. A few are watching … waiting.
The directions continue:
“Use the testing printouts to identify students who have not made gains, highlight the standards that show a need for “aggressive intervention” then test those students by …”
Here it comes. That one teacher, you know the one, interrupts …
“But, what if we are not sure the data is correct? Have you read some of those test questions … I just don’t think …”
The interruption is cut short:
“Well, we are supposed to go over the data. It’s not our problem. Plus, it’s not up to us, they said they wanted us to …”
Again, with that one teacher:
“Who is they?”
Back and forth, the buck gets passed.
Fortunately for the cellphone crew, the clock strikes done. Folks start packing up to go.
But, that one teacher persists …
“What if we create a way to show proof for the standard. For example, what if I have a student write a paper analyzing the novel we are reading. If the student cites the text correctly, and analyzes the text effectively, I can say the student met the standard. Right? Why does it have to be a multiple choice test?”
Everyone stops packing and looks up in unison. For a second, joined in hope …
“Because that’s not data. How will we prove they learned without the data?”
There. It. Is. Data. Of course. Somehow, schools have been reduced to spreadsheets.
Hope gone. Folks start packing up again. Nothing clears a room of teachers like data.
Long live the test …
For more GatorbonBC – Check out my podcast: GrassRoots Mom